Friday, September 30, 2011

Y.G.G. (And if you don't know what that stands for, you should)

That would be Yo Gabba Gabba.

Tonight, we will be seeing the magic live.  Live!  DJ Lance in the flesh.

Maybe some people reading this are professional people with no kids.  Maybe you have kids, but they are too old to watch Yo Gabba Gabba.  Or, perhaps you have kids but you (gasp!!!) don't watch Yo Gabba Gabba.  You're probably thinking, why should I continue reading this crap post?  Maybe you've stopped reading already. 

Why?  Only because Yo Gabba Gabba it is the most unbelievable, entertaining, creative, educational, college student stoned enjoyment to have ever graced the television.  This is no Blues Clues, people.  It's bizarre.  Eccentric.  Odd.  So odd, in fact, that it can be nothing but brilliant.  If you find yourself saying, "Who thinks of this crap and what are they smoking" multiple times over a thirty minute episode, you know your time is well spent. Oh, and Braden loves it too.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pic of the Week - Embracing Mediocrity

As I wrote about a few weeks ago, I've been taking an introductory photography class.  The last class is tonight, and I have to say I am sad about it!  I have really enjoyed learning something new, and more than that, having a place to go where I can talk to adults and space out if I want to.  Despite class ending, I am thinking I want to make photography my new "hobby."  You know, where I tote a big camera around parks on the weekends and start taking pictures of inanimate objects instead of just my kids.

But there's a problem. 

I'm really not that good at it.

For a while, I thought it was something I could learn to be good at.  It's all technical right?  But the more I learn, the more I am realizing it is more of an art than a science.  And artistic talent is NOT something I've been blessed with.  Not at all.

This past weekend, our class took a field trip to Union Station and then walked around the Capitol area.  We were sent off to take original, artsy photos, and I was at a loss.  I am completely lacking in creativity!  Angles, leading lines, unique perspective - it's all lost on me.  But, I had lots of fun anyway.  And here's one of my mediocre artistic attempts:

Where the magic happens, people. 
I have decided that I don't necessarily need to be good at something to make it my hobby, as long as I enjoy it right?

In fact, mediocrity is a relief.  Who needs all that pressure from a hobby?

Monday, September 26, 2011

AP Math

Up until my junior year in high school, I never put that much effort into school.  I would get A's and B's, but I actually didn't care that much about my grades.  I wasn't really challenged, and I didn't care to be challenged either.  I was more into boys and lunch time and talking on the phone for hours each evening (thank God I grew up before Facebook).

I had always taken AP Math classes, and my junior year I signed up for AP Precalculus.  Within the first week or so, it became clear that this was not going to be so easy peasy.  I did the homework as required and studied for quizzes and exams in study hall, but it didn't cut it.  For the first time in my academic career, I was failing.  Failing!  I was humiliated.  I remember asking to go to the nurse during one class right before the teacher was about to pass back test results, because I was so ashamed.  After about a month, I went to see my guidance counselor and told her I wanted to transfer to the Honors class instead.  She approved it, and within a few days, my schedule was changed.

Then something weird happened. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pic of the Week - A Nine Foot What?

I guess we shouldn't have been surprised - what do you expect from a Georgetown Cupcake wedding?

Yes, that is a 9 foot wedding cake.  Made of little cupcakes. 

And that's how I gained three pounds during a weekend away.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Phase

As I sit here at my computer listening to Casey babble about in his bed when he should be napping, a sad realization has struck me:

Soon, in the not so distant future, Casey will give up his morning nap.  And my luxurious mornings, complete with coffee and bed and the Today show and blogging, will be a distant memory. 

But that's not all.  Also, in the not so distant future, Braden will be giving up his one and only afternoon nap.  And then I will have no break in the day.  AT ALL. 

This scares the crap out of me. 

Right now, even with these two breaks in my day, I consider my day pretty damn hard - much harder than my days in biglaw.  I am exhausted.  When the boys are up, and I'm not preparing meals or cleaning up from meals or dealing with various toddler demands, I'm on a constant quest to entertain them and find activities.  Some days are easier than others, but all days, an immense amount of energy is exerted, and I yearn for my boys' naptimes.  Yearn for them!  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Celebrity Wedding

The wedding I went to this past weekend was pretty unbelievable.  Over the top.  Extravagant.  But what do you expect from a celebrity wedding?  Well, maybe not Hollywood A-list style, but close to it. 

Have you ever seen that show on TLC, DC Cupcakes?  It's a reality show following the two sisters who own Georgetown Cupcake, which is a cupcake store chain in DC (soon to open in Manhattan).  The cupcakes are pretty amazing, but that's neither here nor there.

Well, my husband happens to work with the guy who married one of the sisters.  I know, it's weird, right?  A guy who is engaged (now married) to a reality TV star/owner of hugely successful cupcake chain chooses to spend his time in biglaw marking up credit agreements and taking notes during conference calls?  I can't imagine he's yearning for the partner track, but what do I know?  And anyway, that's also neither here nor there.

We got the invitation to the wedding last spring, and my first reaction:  We're there.  Nevermind I had never met the bride or the groom.  The wedding was in Santa Barbara.  At the San Ysidro Ranch.  It was being filmed for the TLC series (it will air in November!).  Um yeah, we're going.  My husband took a bit of convincing, but the tickets were booked in short order.  And so began the countdown to my first celebrity wedding. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Never Again...

Will I take a red eye flight.

You know when you are booking a flight, like six months in advance, and you are weighing all of your options?  Cost, time, connection, etc.  And a flight comes up that is maybe $30 cheaper, but it is a red eye flight and you will get to your destination at 5am having had no sleep at all.  And you think, come on, I should save money, I can hack it for just one morning.  Because it's all conceptual at that point and the pain that you will endure and feel on that morning is in the distant future and hey, maybe it won't be that bad.

Yeah, that's kind of what happened to us. And yes, it will be that bad.  Much worse than you can imagine, actually.

We thought, oh it will be nice to have all day Sunday to spend in LA.  We can drive the Pacific Coast Highway and frolic on the beach hand in hand with "Something Tells Me I'm Into Something Good" playing in the background.  Sure, we won't have a hotel room or place to sit or lay down or use the bathroom, and there is a large chance we'll have a painful hangover from the night before.  Nevermind that.  We will be on vacation!  Without children!

Never again.

I got nine hours of sleep last night, and I still feel like I got run over by a truck.   I really wanted to do a heartfelt post, about how amazing the wedding was, about how I could potentially appear on a reality show episode in November, about how I got a drunken job offer, about my thoughts on post-kid travel, etc. etc.  But I can't.  I'm just tapped out.

Hopefully tomorrow.  

Until then, today promises to be a long one.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Some Nice Surprises, Some Disappointments, and Some Irony

I'm in LA!  My flight did not go down in flames.  Let me recap my trip thus far by dividing this post into three segments:

Some Nice Surprises
Nice Surprise #1 - A nun on our flight.  I'm not religious at all, but when I saw that nun, I thought, "Surely this plane won't go down.  Surely this nun has an in."  And I was right.  Not only was it an uneventful flight, but my husband and I ended up with a row to ourselves and I managed to sleep most of the way.

Our flight was a bit delayed, so we didn't end up in LA until 1:30am.  We were exhausted when we arrived at the W Westwood and learned about Nice Surprise #2 - we were upgraded to a suite!  I seem to be making a habit of this.  The room is great.  The bed is great.  The pool is great.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Heading West, on Xanax

If you know me, you know I've been counting down the days for this west coast trip forever.

In T minus 11 hours, I'll be on a Virgin Atlantic flight heading to LA.  Just my husband and I.  We have my husband's colleague to thank, who decided to get married at the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, CA. 

Gwyneth Paltrow got married here.  Just sayin.  

Before heading to Santa Barbara on Friday, we're going to spend a day in LA, which I plan to spend poolside at the W hotel, with a cocktail.  Or two.

Life doesn't get much better, right? 

There are only two things putting a downer on this amazing trip right now.  One, I am pathetically sad about leaving my kids.  Yes, they will be fine.  Yes, my mother raised me and my sister and is capable of taking care of two kids.  Yes, it is only four days and once I'm back, they won't even remember that I was gone.  But I just can't help it.  I'm heartsick over leaving them!

There's that, and then there's this:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pic of the Week - Five Years

It was five years ago (plus a few days):

September 9, 2006

It was 75 degrees and sunny.

Wanna know a secret?  My husband threw up a few hours before the ceremony.  His stomach does weird things when he's nervous.

There were about 130 people at a low key, small B&B in Wellfleet, MA.

The guest list included a British Member of Parliament, a large gay contingent, a friend who came all the way from Australia, and a poodle named Snowey.  

There was lots of dancing, a shirtless rendition of "Living on a Prayer," and even some keg stands (not by me!).    

It was a good day.

But better than that day has been the five years since, that have given us a new city, a new house, a new dog, two boys that are more amazing than words, lots of laughs, and pure happiness.

There's no one else I'd rather hang out with in this life.  

Love you, sweetie.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Bust

When I worked at law firms, it wasn't the long nights in the office, the ruined weekends, or the canceled vacations that really got me down.  In reality, those things didn't happen too often.  No, the scary thing - the thing that caused me the most stress - was the threat of all of those things.

All it took was one all-nighter in the office to put the fear of God in you that it would happen again - anytime, at no warning.  (For the record, it only happened to me once, which I wrote about here).   If you heard that some associate in some other department in some other office had to cancel their vacation, the seed was planted that this too could happen to you.  Having to cancel plans once in a blue moon meant that you never knew when you would have to cancel again, at a moment's notice, and so every dinner reservation, every concert, ever planned weekend away, came with an underlying caveat - "... unless things go crazy at work."  Since leaving my job, I obviously don't have to worry about this happening to me anymore.  But this weekend, I was reminded that I can't say the same for my husband.  And so that the fear continues to follow me.

Last Friday was my husband and my 5th anniversary.  To be honest, we have never been big anniversary people - we usually do a card and a dinner out.   But this year, my husband actually splurged and bought me a decent piece of jewelry.  I was so touched and surprised.  And though we aren't having our "official" anniversary dinner until next week in California (details to come), we still had a night out planned.  My husband's firm had a corporate department dinner, and spouses were invited.  I was so excited for a night out with my husband with free food and drinks, and also to be able to hang out with his co-workers that he talks about so much, but that I barely know.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Un-wined of the Week - Bloggers Unite

I have "met" so many people since starting this blog.  Most are virtual friends, who comment on my blog, or whose blogs I read.  These friends have given me advice, inspiration, and some much needed laughs.  I know it's weird to have friends you've never actually met, but hey, the internet is a crazy place. 

Every once in a while, I actually do meet someone through the blog, in the traditional, face to face sort of way.  A few months ago, I met Darcy.  Darcy has an amazing blog (which I actually recommended in a former post, prior to meeting her!), called No Monsters in My Bed.  She's an amazing photographer, an amazing writer, and what do you know, she is also a cool person, who happens to be a former lawyer.  I had actually met her about four years ago, when she interviewed me at her law firm.  We didn't put two and two together until just recently, but still, how crazy is that?  Little did we know in that interview that in a few short years we'd both be stay at home moms, with blogs, and meeting on a rainy Thursday night in downtown DC for drinks.

We went to Founding Farmers in downtown DC, right down the street from where I used to work.  I took the metro in, as I wanted to treat myself to a drink or two or three.  It had been a rough week.  A broken dishwasher.  Four straight days of buckets of rain.  A letter informing us that we owe a couple grand to the IRS from taxes we filed two years ago (I swear, it was an honest mistake).  I could go on, but suffice it to say, I wanted a drink.

Last night was just what I needed - good wine, good food, good conversation.  I had a few glasses of this:

Acrobat Pinot Noir
Oregon, 2009

It was a bit expensive at $12 a glass, but what do you expect from a downtown DC restaurant?  And it was very good - bright and smooth and a bit fruity.  It went perfectly with bacon lollipops (oh my gosh, were those good) and an ahi tuna salad.  I googled it, and it looks like it retails for around $20, which isn't bad, though it does compel me to go off on one of my rants about restaurant markups, of which I will spare you.

We had a great time at dinner, and decided to make drinks a regular thing.  Any other local bloggers want to join?  Just email me!  Lets be real friends!

A quick note - I would be remiss not to mention that today is my husband and my five year anniversary.  Happy Anniversary, sweetie!  We done good!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to School

There's all this "back to school" talk this week.  Everyone is raiding the Nordstrom kid shoe department and posting pictures on Facebook of their kid with a backpack on (guilty, and guilty).  But, hey, what about me?  I went back to school this week.  Kind of.

I'm always a sucker for those Groupon/Living Social/Bloomspot discounts.  I've bought some random things - magazine subscriptions, cases of wine, two for one pizzas.  (I've been very tempted by the hair removal/teeth whitening/make yourself a little less gross deals as well, but haven't followed through quite yet).  A few months ago, I saw a link to a deal for an Introduction to Digital Photography class at the Washington School of Photography.  Four classes, $100 bucks, sold.  Learning more about photography has always been one of my tangential goals.  You know, kind of like:  "I want to read more books" and "I want to get in shape" and "I want start a blog."

My first class was this past Tuesday.  I could not wait!  Not because I was so excited for the class itself, but because Tuesday at home with the kids SUCKED.  Constant rain.  Lack of naps. Several meltdowns.  The baking of cupcakes (to bring to Braden's school), the cooking of three separate dinners (because no one will eat the same thing), and A LACK OF DISHWASHER (broke down this weekend, yay).  Two loads of laundry.  No good television to look forward to (save for Teen Mom).  Just general malaise.  But the class - it was my saving grace.  It meant that despite my husband's workload, he had to be home to relieve me by 6:30.  And no matter what, by 6:30 I was off duty.  I would drive in a car, by myself.  Ahhhhhh. Three hours, just for me. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pic of the Week - Note to Self...

Never again order a birthday cake with blue icing.  First, there's this:

Then there is the fact that his poop, for two days straight, was a strikingly similar color.

Sorry if that's too much information, but I feel the need to warn the public.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Moment

Today is Braden's birthday.  He is 3 years old.

I'm not going to bore you with a photo montage of his last three years, or share a letter I wrote to him professing my love and admiration.  No, that's for just Braden and I.

But I will say this.

I have found that there are so few moments in life that are truly remarkable.  Instead, day to day life is made up of tasks, obligations, and arbitrary traditions that seem important at the time.

We spend our time networking, climbing the corporate ladder, returning voicemails, and meeting deadlines.

We keep up with doctors appointments and meals and playdates and birthday parties.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Party Time

It's that time of year again.  T-one day until Braden's third birthday party.  It's absolutely ridiculous to let a toddler birthday party stress you out, so I try to just be laid back about the whole thing.  But really?  Me?  Laid back with planning?  Doesn't happen.

It's not that I plan something extravagant.  In fact, part of the reason I left Manhattan was because I had heard one too many stories of a museum rented out for a two year old's birthday party, complete with a five tiered princess birthday cake, duck foie gras and champagne for the parents, live music performances, live animals, and a multi-thousand dollar price tag.  No, no, no.  That's all kinds of wrong.   

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Un-wined of the Week- Wills and Wine

My husband and I are flying to California for a wedding in a couple of weeks, and while pondering the terror of descending thousands of feet in a metal fireball, I figured we should probably go ahead and do a proper will.

We are both lawyers, so you would think we could do our own will, right?  Nein, fraulein.  If anything, our legal background just makes us realize how ignorant we are and how much we would mess up the disbursement of our assets and leave our children homeless and in squalor.  

So last night my husband and I were paid a visit by our lawyer (aka, neighbor, aka, husband of our dog walker, aka, bedmate of our dog when we go out of town) to go over the details.  There's nothing quite like contemplating your own death, the death of your husband, and the future of your children parentless and alone in the world.  So we figured we would add some wine to the mix!  Our attorney was happy to partake.

This week's wine was:  

Blackstone Pinot Noir
California, 2009

I know I really need to stop with the Pinot Noir and try something new, but to be honest, last night I wanted a sure thing.  This was cheap ($9.99), smooth, light in color, medium in body, and had a nice vanilla like aftertaste.  I had tried this before and knew I liked it, and hey, if I'm discussing my untimely death, I should be able to drink what I want.

Overall rating - 8/10

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